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Langley Park family upset at Government

Langley Park family upset at Government

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A Langley Park family has accused the government of political victimisation as they did not receive any of the homes or land distributed there yesterday.{{more}}

The Walker family, however, said they are glad that their friends and neighbours benefited from the initiative.

Five homes and 62 plots of lands were distributed to members of the community.

And Iris Walker and her daughter Keisha staged a silent protest, bearing placards that asked questions of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and quoted scriptures.

The prime minister, as he made his way to the podium, stopped to read the questions.

“Why I was not formally informed that the land I farmed on for over 35 years was going to be given out as house spots and every farmer around me was informed?” one question asked.

“Why was I not given the same opportunity to get a house spot as everyone else whose land was taken?”

“Why was I not given alternative land to cultivate as the others?”

“Why the house spot that was given to my husband on the Rabacca farm was taken away as soon as he passed away without informing the family?”

The scriptures on the placard were taken from the Psalms.

The ladies, who say that they are supporters of the New Democratic Party, told the media that when they heard that the land was to be distributed for house spots and they were not informed, Iris, a widow, approached area representative, Minister of Housing Montgomery Daniel about the matter, but was told that there was no name to the land.

“I said ‘How they could say there is no name to it, and when they wanted to sign the contract for the irrigation they find me to sign it, and how come now, no name is to it?’” she said.

“I told him ‘My husband died, I have a piece of land, I do not mind they take the lands to make house spot, I do not think I want another piece of land. But what I would want, I would want a house spot for one of my children’. He said yes, he find that is fair.”

“Last week when the place was being surveyed I go back to him and I asked him what he had promised me if it was still going on, he said that … he don’t know what is going on … Right then and there I know that my name was not there.”

Walker said that the minister promised that he would get back to her on the matter but never did, hence their protest.

Gonsalves addressed the matter at the beginning of his speech.

He said he did not know about the issues that the Walkers raised, but that the children have an opportunity to have their names on a list which would give them a fair chance to receive a house spot.

“Because we wanted lands for people in Langley Park, there was some lands there which was allocated to farmers, so in order to take that land to divide up for the 62 people today, we had to go and get land for them elsewhere…” the prime minister said.

“We have grown children in the family — like the daughter, and there is a son. They also must be entitled to have their names on a list, from which they too can get land, because what is they mommy own is not their own … And I am sure that their names are down on the list and Montgomery Daniel will make sure that at least the daughter or the son will get,” he added.

Gonsalves called on the media to verify with the Surveys Department the information he and the Walkers gave, respectively.

“I want honesty and I want reasonableness,” the prime minister said.

The Williams, Jacobs, Abbott, Jack, and Delecia families receive keys to new houses, thanks to a partnership between the government, through the Ministry of Housing and the Mustique Charitable Trust, which contributed $196,000 towards the construction of the homes.

Daniel told the ceremony the homes were built in five weeks and that when all works are completed, the housing project would cost over $1 million.

Chair of the Trust, Roger Pritchard, described the construction of the houses in the space of time as a tremendous effort, and commended the Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC) for the work that was done.

Howie Prince, director of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), and Morris Slater, manager of the HLDC, also spoke at the ceremony.

In May, a number of homes were handed over to persons in the same area.

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